Welcome to the Carrying Matters website.

Rosie is passionate about helping parents and carers to carry their children; carrying matters in so many ways. The positive effects of close and loving contact are enormous, and investment early on in family life is well worth it. Carrying is connection; it matters to children, their carers, and society. Here you can find everything you need to know about how to carry your baby safely and well, why babywearing is so normal and useful, how to choose a baby carrier, and help for all sorts of circumstances.

carrying children matters

The simple act of connecting with a small person through the medium of loving touch has powerful and long-lasting effects on both child and carer. Babies need to be held close to encourage normal physiological and psychological development, especially in the early months.

Children thrive when they are carried, resilience builds and families flourish when the needs of all its members are met. Carrying is connection; carrying matters!

Read more about why carrying matters here.

carry me daddy

Keeping babies safe in any kind of baby sling or baby carrier is of paramount importance. The first most vital issue is to ensure that baby’s airway is open and unobstructed, with chin off the chest and the ribcage well supported. Babies’ temperatures should be considered too; they are surprisingly warm, and overheating can cause problems. Read more about sling safety here.

beco gemini

Secure attachment to other people is vital to human health and wellness; we thrive on relationship, on belonging. Such healthy attachments are the bedrock to future positive mental health and enjoyable relationships. However, 40% of children lack secure attachments, and are significantly disadvantaged, especially those growing up in poverty, or with a high number of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Encouraging carers to spend more time in close physical contact with their children, is one way to improve the building of positive bonds that last a lifetime.

Read more about the importance of building secure attachments here, and how carrying children in slings can build the resilience they need to thrive despite adversity.

when the time comes to stop carrying

About Rosie

“I am a mum of 2, a family doctor in the UK (a GP), and a passionate advocate of building secure attachment relationships between children and their carers, due to the long lasting effects this has on future health. I believe that carrying children plays a large part in building such bonds, be it in arms or in a sling. With Carrying Matters, I focus on providing accessible information and education about this for parents and the professionals who support them. Sling and carrier use is not a new concept at all; but our Westernised society has lost the communal sharing of knowledge. We are no longer surrounded by a community of people who can help us get to grips with parenthood and share the load, so we need support in newer and more structured ways. This is what I do; empower people to keep their children close in a safe and positive way.”

Her book, “Why Babywearing Matters”, was published by Pinter and Martin in May 2016. It was translated into Polish “Dlaczego noszenie ma znaczenie?” by Nicminiewisi and Lenny Lamb in May 2018.  She has written for a wide range of publications, including Juno Magazine, and has a regular freelance blogging role for Boba (links can be found in the Blog section).

She founded the Sling Pages, an independent website listing all the known sling professional resources in the UK and Eire.

She is a practising GP in the UK with a particular interest in holistic medicine as well as children and women’s health and medical ethics. She began her career in hospital medicine but switched to general practice because of its flexibility with family life and the opportunities it presents to be more closely involved with communities, from cradle to grave. She has two children of her own, who have both been carried happily, and a husband who works alongside her at their local Sheffield premises. Rosie founded the Sheffield Sling Surgery and Library in 2013 and has supported thousands of parents across the South Yorkshire region, helped by a volunteer team of fantastic, committed parents who have found carrying their own children to be life-changing. They all want to help their fellow parents to discover this for themselves!

Rosie developed the “Fourth Trimester” sling meet model with her colleague Lindsay Snow, focusing on the needs of parents with bumps to four months. Families often struggle to deal with the biological needs of their new baby within the confined structures and expectations of modern society, which can be damaging to the building of secure attachments.

The needs of baby and caregivers are both important, as is the mental health and happiness of the whole family. Human beings were not designed to live in small isolated units but in supportive social groupings.

Holding babies close (in arms or in a soft sling) can be a very useful tool for families struggling with mental health disorders, pre, peri or postnatally. The close contact and the soft touch has biochemical hormonal effects that can help to reduce anxiety, improve feelings of wellbeing and connection, as well as lifting the mood. Read more about this here.

You can find your local sling library or sling meet by searching the Sling Pages resource, get in touch with them!

Using a sling (carrier) helps parents to keep their child as close as their biology needs, while also being able to function as adults in a demanding and inflexible world.

rosie knowles

Rosie trains carrying advocates and sling/carrier peer supporters through the Born to Carry initiative, running courses in Sheffield and nearby. She has trained health care professionals, sling librarians, fitness course leaders and interested parents.

She lectures at conferences and gatherings around the UK and Europe about a range of topics, all related to early years parenting and how slings and carriers can make a huge difference to babies, their carers and to society.

“I’d highly recommend any enthusiast to attend this course. I found it thoroughly enjoyable and look forward to being able to use this new knowledge to help more parents discover the benefits of babywearing, as I have.”

“Rosie is a wonderful teacher, very clear and good at explaining. I felt she was well educated in her field and able to answer any question thrown at her. Also very friendly which made me feel comfortable and relaxed in a learning environment and confident to ask questions.”

Get in touch with her here.

Shh baby shh.... hmm baby hmm. I had the great privilege of wrapping this little six day old baby girl today, she was semi awake and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of helping her back to sleep with the woven wrap and humming to her as we went.
There's something so special about a wrap: binding a baby to you bit by bit, creating a safe space together that is exactly the shape of the two of you. The feeling of the fabric sliding over your back in a gentle massage (and it must feel the same for baby), is almost as if the cloth is holding you in place, keeping you present.
Many of the families I meet who say that "babywearing saved me" have used a woven wrap, they describe how special it was and what role it played in helping to restore their mental health to a happier and more confident place.
Buckles are brilliant, they are easy and convenient; they keep baby and parent in loving contact... but there is no denying that the wrap adds something else to the mix. It can be therapeutic!
Have you tried a wrap? If not, give it a go! It's not that hard, they don't have to cost a lot of money (some good ones can be under £50!) and they are so versatile. I showed someone else today how her eight week old could see beautifully all around as the fabric lies flat and moulds to her body, rather than bulky straps sitting near her face.
#bringbackthewrap #wovenwrap #carryingmatters #newborn #newbornwrapping #babywearing #mentalhealthmatters #babywearingsavedme #therapeuticbabywearing
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This is a lovely illustration: the first few months and beyond are when you get to know and love your baby and both of you just want to be together. You shouldn't feel pressured to separate yourselves or be swayed by comments such as "you'll make a rod for your own back."

We are so hard on new parents and babies, ignoring their natural biology to fit into societal expectations. We may have a lot of technology these days but our bodies and brains and biochemistry are not that different from our ancestors who roamed the plains. Babies need contact and closeness to thrive... and so do new parents. They grow into each other and learn how to be together just by being together. Bodies adapt to each other, how to be held, how to communicate.

If getting out is hard or you need your hands free, a sling or carrier may help. And don't for one second think that loving your baby or wanting to cuddle them when they cry for you is ever a bad thing; it is the most important thing! It matters...

... and if you don't feel this way, please talk to someone. It's very common to struggle and there is help, most likely from someone near you who knows just how you feel: parenting groups. Find your people, let them nourish you too.
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21 hours ago

Carrying Matters - Dr Rosie Knowles

This half day course will cover the essentials of how to keep a baby safe in a baby carrier during activities such as dance or fitness. It will explore the specific risks and issues of using a sling (to the baby and the postnatal mother) with these more strenuous activities.

You will learn how to recognise and deal with common issues, and how to work with parents who need more support before they can continue with the class.

Please note this half day class is NOT a peer supporter course and will not equip you to support parents with babywearing with a range of slings, it is the basic minimum to ensure the safety of babies. You will receive a simple certificate of attendance on this course. It will not entitle you to insurance as a babywearing peer supporter.

If you wish to have a wider range of skills, please book a Carrying Advocacy and Peer Supporter Course (www.bit.ly/CAPScourse)

This course is held at The Snug, 71 Leadmill Road, Sheffield, S1 4SE. There is parking in various carparks nearby and the station/interchange and bus stations are nearby.

Space for 10-12 people, £45 per person, booking link in the ticket section, also here


Please note that due to the complexities of bringing together different fields of expertise I can only offer this class to those who already have a qualification in postnatal fitness, and it will depend on the type of class you are offering. If you want to discuss whether your qualification is suitable for entry on this course or if your proposed class would be suitable, please email me. My thoughts on fitness/dance classes while babywearing can be read here www.carryingmatters.co.uk/slings-and-exercise/
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It's Sleep Week at 4th Trimester today!
#4thtrimestersheffield #sleepmatters #carryingmatters #sheffieldslingsurgery #understandingkids
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One of the loveliest things about going to babywearing shows and conferences is meeting people; always lots of giggles to be had. Sarah from Integra picked up some of our "we love babywearing" car stickers that day!
#carryingmatters #slingshowscotland #carryingisconnection #integrababy
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